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Gun Security

Elma Fud

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In the past I’ve been away on sporting breaks and stayed in B&B’s and my parent’s house.


Could someone please tell me where the law stands reference the gun security arrangements whilst at these places?



I know that this has been mentioned on the site before. But can’t remember the outcome.

Can you carry a rifle / shotgun that are in full view in a vehicle? I.e. a rifle in a vehicle gun cradle. Can a person drive on public roads with a rifle on such a rack. I have seen this whilst in Scotland, deer stalking.


Thank you

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The law says:


The Firearms Ammendment Act 1998 states two levels of security namely:


The firearms and ammunition are to be stored securely at all times except as provided in paragraph (;), so as to prevent, as far as reasonably possible unauthorised access; and Para (:thumbs: also lists when the above does not apply:


When the firearms and ammunition are in use;

When the firearm is being cleaned, repaired, tested or when being sold or transferred;

When the firearm or ammunition is in transit in connection with any of these purposes.


When in transit the law suggests:


There is an accord by the owner to ensure the safe custody of the firearms and ammunition and any guns should be hidden preferably in a locked boot to prevent their identification. If the vehicle is to be left unattended for any reason firearms should be concealed with the bolt or forend removed and carried about the person.


Moving now to the keeping of firearms and them being kept away from their usual place of safe storage or keeping consideration should be given to:


Obtaining accomodation which provides secure facilities;

Seperating and retaining possession of integral parts of the firearm to prevent usage and

Using portable security devices such as security cords.


As you can see the law is not clear here on its interpretation of certain words and so it would depend very much on the circumstances by which you found yourself on the wrong side of the law. In essence you would have to convince any Judge and Jury that you took reasonable steps to safeguard your rifles and or ammunition whilst they were away from your usual safe place of storage.


I would suggest, if you consider the above, carrying a gun on a rack, on a public highway and in full view of the public is in all probability a breach of the above.


It is not however illegal to have a gun on a rack on private land.


Hope this helps.


Col Pol

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Col Pol has the thing right.


The law is somewhat indistinct in as much that the comments regarding transport and security are given Home Office guidelines, not written in Statute Law.


Nevertheless there have been occasions when guns have been pinched (I have in mind a case when guns were stolen from a vehicle outside a pub near me) when the owners were prosecuted, and their Shotgun Certificates revoked.


So, the message is....take proper care. If I call in a pub or whatever on the way home I put the forened of my SBS or the cocking handle of the auto in my pocket and make sure the gun cases are out of sight. This is easy for me because I have a Skoda Estate which has a false foor in the back end. (my other car is a Ferrari you understand!)


At filling stations, (or motorway caffs having a Jimmy) if I'm with a chum one of us stays with the vehicle.


If you don't already have procedures like this in place, get wise. Not only might you lose your guns, you could lose your sport and get a record. Not funny.




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We had a similar incident with guns in cars, a few year ago, in West Yorkshire.


There was a bit more to it though. The gun owners had been clay shooting for the morning and called at a local hostelry for some amber nectar, on the way home. They were all dressed in the skeet vests with badges of 100 straight etc. ,on them.

I am sure it didn't take the locals long to realise what was in the cars !! ;)


As Col Pol has put so well, the onus at the end of the day, as gun owners, is on us to ensure the safekeeping of the guns. The guidelines from the Home Office are just that, but they are interpreted in court cases, similar to the Highway Code guidelines,on each individual case.

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